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-   -   Using paver bricks for "regular" brick work. (http://www.diychatroom.com/f105/using-paver-bricks-regular-brick-work-191115/)

THX1138 11-27-2013 07:52 PM

Using paver bricks for "regular" brick work.
 
I have never done brickwork before but I want to make a mailbox pillar. When it came to finding brick I discovered that just about the only type available is this "king" size brick. This may just be a regional thing (Central Texas) because videos of brickwork I see from the UK still shows them using the modular size (I think) brick that I consider normal. I think I can reason out why this is the case and I won't type out an extensive rant I have worked up on the subject. Instead, I would like to ask if using pavers would work? They are a better size for what I have in mind and they don't have the holes so I can turn a brick or have it outset without that being exposed. Further, I could do a herringbone pattern which you can't do with king size. Seems like a silly question but I don't see it done much so I'm wondering if I'm overlooking some issue. Surely they are weather-resistant enough (I have my eye on Acme pavers) and they aren't really bearing much load.


FWIW I saw this picture of a mailbox and would like to do something like this - if not this exactly. :wink:

http://www.steelmailbox.com/assets/i...erPilaster.jpg

Thanks.

concretemasonry 11-27-2013 10:04 PM

Real concrete pavers have several slight vertical projections on the 3 5/8" high sides to insure spacing and the face is not intended to be exposed.

There are may "brick" shaped masonry units made that could be used.

Pick out local concrete or clay units the have a face that you desire after you have laid them, considering the mortar joint type and coursing. - There really is no standard size for brick, but it can be between 7-5/8" long (modular brick) and many others up to about 12". The height can vary, depending on the style and manufacturer. The brick may be either perfectly edged and uniform as manufactured or tumbled/stained/abraded or blended with other, so there are many options. - Just go look at the local availability, because many options will not be economically acceptable.

Dick

jomama45 11-27-2013 11:17 PM

Couple things:

- You can do a herringbone pattern with any size brick, they don't need to be mods/standards/etc...

- I find it hard to believe that you can only find King size brick in your area. Texas probably uses more brick residentially than the other 49 states combined.

- Pavers will work, but their lack of a frog/holes makes them far harder to work with, especially for a DIY-er. They will "swim" all over the place. As well, they don't tend to bond together nearly as well as a cored brick does, but it's probably not a big deal in a small project.

- Hopefully a member here, that has been given the name "Tscrborough" by the Federal Witness Protection Program, will chime in. He resides in the Austin area, and works for a masonry/brick/block supplier. I'm sure he can steer you in the right direction in sourcing another more fitting brick........

stuart45 11-28-2013 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jomama45 (Post 1272413)
Texas probably uses more brick residentially than the other 49 states combined.

Any reason for that Joe? Is Texas full of clay?

Tscarborough 11-28-2013 03:43 PM

There are a lot of clay bodies in the area, and Mexico is within shipping range, plus hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.

I can assure you that you can find any size brick you want in Central Texas, with the exception of "Big John" or "Builders" size; those went away in the Eighties.

THX1138 11-29-2013 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tscarborough (Post 1272640)
There are a lot of clay bodies in the area, and Mexico is within shipping range, plus hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.

I can assure you that you can find any size brick you want in Central Texas, with the exception of "Big John" or "Builders" size; those went away in the Eighties.

I was talking to someone who does light construction and he said nearby Elgin is considered some sort of brick making capital of the SW or something. At Acme I saw they have brick coming from many plants in Texas. So you would *think* this would be easy. What am I doing wrong? :laughing:

Home Depot and Lowes don't carry ANY engineering brick - only pavers. I went to Acme in Round Rock and every one I saw was of king size. But at that time I was still seeking a brick that would match my house so I had narrowed it down to half-a-dozen. On Acme's website under products they list only king size and a few others that are even less close to modular. http://brick.com/

I've heard of some place called BMI, I think. Their North location is going through inventory until the beginning of December and are closed but maybe I will try there. I was told they have the biggest selection.

Even at Acme they ship them - they keep little in stock. The high-weight-and-size-to-price ratio dictates that, I'm sure - same reason Lowes and Home Depot don't seem to bother with it at all. I wouldn't mind shipping but I did want to see samples first. I've seen enough samples that I might be comfortable enough to just buy online if such an option exists but I haven't really run across one. Do you know of a good vendor?

Thanks.

THX1138 11-29-2013 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jomama45 (Post 1272413)
Couple things:

- You can do a herringbone pattern with any size brick, they don't need to be mods/standards/etc...

- I find it hard to believe that you can only find King size brick in your area. Texas probably uses more brick residentially than the other 49 states combined.

- Pavers will work, but their lack of a frog/holes makes them far harder to work with, especially for a DIY-er. They will "swim" all over the place. As well, they don't tend to bond together nearly as well as a cored brick does, but it's probably not a big deal in a small project.

- Hopefully a member here, that has been given the name "Tscrborough" by the Federal Witness Protection Program, will chime in. He resides in the Austin area, and works for a masonry/brick/block supplier. I'm sure he can steer you in the right direction in sourcing another more fitting brick........

Yes, the brick "swimming" was a thought I had, too.

The herringbone pattern is probably not in the cards for a project of this size so that may be a moot point. But doing some of the patterns, even simple ones like in that picture I linked, seem like more of a challenge when dealing with a brick with much less depth like king sized has. Also, in cases where other sides would show (like on the top or if I do an attached planter box along the top of that) it just seems like the holes would look bad. I can't think back to many times where I've seen the holes exposed on the brick. Maybe I just didn't notice or they didn't use that kind of brick OR just through technique and other materials, like using some sort of captstone, they were covered up. I feel like I must be off base somehow but this seems like an obvious issue to me. :confused1:

I guess I could test the ability of the mortar to stick. The pavers at Acme seem to have a sort of patterned surface. That may help as far as that goes. I remember as a kid finding some old loose bricks and thinking the mortar would just pop off easily but it stuck far more than I expected. It may depend on the kind of mortar I would use if I choose this route.

THX1138 11-29-2013 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by concretemasonry (Post 1272396)
Real concrete pavers have several slight vertical projections on the 3 5/8" high sides to insure spacing and the face is not intended to be exposed.

Yes, I notice that on the ones at Home Depot but the ones at Acme don't seem to have them. Thanks.

chiraldude 11-29-2013 08:33 PM

You could take a look at Craigslist. I had to rebuild the top of my chimney recently and found some bricks for free. Someone had demolished an old brick wall and just wanted them gone.

jomama45 11-29-2013 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stuart45 (Post 1272636)
Any reason for that Joe? Is Texas full of clay?

Along with the reasons Tscar mentioned above, everything seems to be MUCH cheaper in Texas when it comes to construction rates. A new $125K house in Texas would likely cost $250K to build here in the Midwest. I'm sure that brick veneer is installed much cheaper there than in most anywhere else in the country.........

Quote:

Originally Posted by THX1138 (Post 1272984)
Yes, the brick "swimming" was a thought I had, too.

The herringbone pattern is probably not in the cards for a project of this size so that may be a moot point. But doing some of the patterns, even simple ones like in that picture I linked, seem like more of a challenge when dealing with a brick with much less depth like king sized has. Also, in cases where other sides would show (like on the top or if I do an attached planter box along the top of that) it just seems like the holes would look bad. I can't think back to many times where I've seen the holes exposed on the brick. Maybe I just didn't notice or they didn't use that kind of brick OR just through technique and other materials, like using some sort of captstone, they were covered up. I feel like I must be off base somehow but this seems like an obvious issue to me. :confused1:

It's most common to have lay the herringbone as a "panel" in the middle with convential bond on the outside border so that no holes are exposed. The top of every wall should have a sill where it ends, with decent pitch to shed water. This is typically attained by laying a brick "rowlock" course on top, or a stone sill.......

I guess I could test the ability of the mortar to stick. The pavers at Acme seem to have a sort of patterned surface. That may help as far as that goes. I remember as a kid finding some old loose bricks and thinking the mortar would just pop off easily but it stuck far more than I expected. It may depend on the kind of mortar I would use if I choose this route.

The bond between the brick usually isn't the issue, it's simply getting the brick to hold together without shifting when they're wet......

THX1138 11-29-2013 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jomama45 (Post 1273020)
Along with the reasons Tscar mentioned above, everything seems to be MUCH cheaper in Texas when it comes to construction rates. A new $125K house in Texas would likely cost $250K to build here in the Midwest. I'm sure that brick veneer is installed much cheaper there than in most anywhere else in the country.........

That was part of the rant I was holding back. I look back on the homes made back in the earlier part of last century (before WWII) and I see many brick homes that are a joy to look at. They all have little brickwork patterns, arches, etc.... Even some of the ranch style homes of the 50's and 60's had them but to a lesser degree. One of my parent's home, for instance, has the "soldier" course at the top but every other brick is "kicked out" at the bottom edge. It is a nice little touch. I can't even find and example of this online to know if it has a name. But there was a time when people took the time to add little features like that. I think it is obvious how things have changed - and now brick is just something to stick on a wall so the developer can call it a brick (veneer) house. Well, I can see where this king size brick is ideal - cover more linear feet of wall per brick. I would just propose to those who see nothing wrong with that why not just be done with it and use a brick veneer - they sell a product that is just that - a half-inch or so thick brick face. It is basically a tile which is where the logical progression goes. Still a "brick" house? Par for the course (no pun intended) for this country which is getting to be all symbolism and no substance. But maybe I'm coming off as too cynical.... "just focus on the mailbox" I tell myself.... :laughing:

Quote:

The bond between the brick usually isn't the issue, it's simply getting the brick to hold together without shifting when they're wet......
Do you think maybe going slow would help? Do one course and let the mortar set up a bit before doing the next?

Thanks.

And I see what you mean about the rowlock course at the top. Thanks for the tip.

Tscarborough 11-30-2013 11:25 AM

"BMI" is "MPI" and we are closed at the North location for inventory all week. For brick in Central Texas, you have Acme (and they have KS, modular and true pavers, but they won't work with you unless you need quite a few thousand), Boral (same as Acme), and Elgin-Butler brick (same as Acme and Boral).

Elgin used to have several large brick plants, but the best clay is gone, so they make mainly structural clay tile and crappy firebrick there now. Acme does have a plant there as well, but they are making mostly KS.

Our other locations South have various types, but the North store has most of our inventory. We may get done and open on Thursday, give a call to check. We will sell you one brick, we are easy that way.

Tscarborough 11-30-2013 11:39 AM

And FYI, that "brick veneer" (actually called adhered veneer, all brick is veneer in modern construction) costs quite a bit more than using full sized brick. It is, in actuality, the finish coat of a 3 coat stucco system.

You are correct in that KS is used for residential, single and multi-family for cost savings. Modular is for commercial and high end residential, but there are many other sizes available as well.

As stated, any size can be used for a herringbone, but normal paving units are 4x8 nominal with nibs to establish a 1/4" spacing.

THX1138 11-30-2013 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tscarborough (Post 1273162)
"BMI" is "MPI" and we are closed at the North location for inventory all week. For brick in Central Texas, you have Acme (and they have KS, modular and true pavers, but they won't work with you unless you need quite a few thousand), Boral (same as Acme), and Elgin-Butler brick (same as Acme and Boral).

Elgin used to have several large brick plants, but the best clay is gone, so they make mainly structural clay tile and crappy firebrick there now. Acme does have a plant there as well, but they are making mostly KS.

Our other locations South have various types, but the North store has most of our inventory. We may get done and open on Thursday, give a call to check. We will sell you one brick, we are easy that way.

Wow - thanks! Great to know.


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